Douglas Huebler: DOUGLAS HUEBLER, 1973

180,00
invitation / announcement
Roma, Italy
Sperone Gian Enzo & Fischer Konrad
1973

Roma: Sperone Gian Enzo & Fischer Konrad, 1973 (03), 11×15,4 cm. Exhibition announcement card featuring recto a staged photo of an imaginary basketball team. A rare document of what French curator Frédéric Paul, coined as sporting readymade. condition: Unmailed.  VG+ / Near Fine. What is really going on in these works ? The spectator’s eyes…

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SKU: 3691007

Description

Roma: Sperone Gian Enzo & Fischer Konrad, 1973 (03), 11×15,4 cm. Exhibition announcement card featuring recto a staged photo of an imaginary basketball team. A rare document of what French curator Frédéric Paul, coined as sporting readymade.


condition: Unmailed.  VG+ / Near Fine.

What is really going on in these works ? The spectator’s eyes are in fact playing another Ping- Pong match as they survey the scrambled photographs. This second (artistic) game is no more or less derisory than the original match. Despite a wealth of actual data, there is no way of telling how long the original match actually lasted. Can one even trust the score ? Probably not, but in any case, this detail is irrelevant. Huebler has done no more nor less than invent the sporting ready-made. And even Marcel Duchamp (who was after all an expert) did not manage to get as far as that with the game of chess ! Obviously Ping-Pong and basket ball (which featured in a similar work from 1971, Variable Piece #20) must be highly superior forms of human pursuit to have won a place in the realm of art 0conceptual art at that!) [Frederic Paul, 1993]

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Huebler’s temporal sensibility correlates to earlier twentieth century ideas on duration. The early twentieth century philosopher Henri Bergson considered that time, when directly experienced as duration (durée reelle), flows in a succession of states that meld into each other, rather than as separate units of measurement by regulating devices, such as clocks. Bergson’s ‘real duration’ is actively perceived and ongoing. Huebler’s Variable Piece No. 20, Bradford, Massachusetts (January 1971), (fig. 17), counterpoints two aspects of time: the flow of a Bergsonian duration against a structured chronological measurement. Here we see eight of twenty-three photographs of a casual basketball game in which the artist, as a player himself in active durée reelle, is blocking and shooting the ball, dressed in long slacks and hightop sneakers. The photographs were taken by an observer from the sidelines ‘at exact 30 second intervals [for eleven minutes] as, at each of those instants, he [the artist] relocated himself within an extremely fluid spatial environment’, according to his typed text. The proscribed duration of thirty second intervals for eleven minutes blocks the time into frames, contrary to the flow of the game and the reciprocal interaction of the players. Huebler is interested in the fluidity of the surrounding space. The game’s kinetic energy is like molecules bouncing and colliding against each other inside a container, each player reacting to the motions of all the others. French curator Frédéric Paul has described this basketball game as a sporting readymade: “Huebler has done no more nor less than invent the sporting readymade.” As to what Paul means by the sporting readymade, it may be merely a reference to Duchamp’s approach that the artist could choose any object and proclaim it to be art, or, more specifically, that Huebler’s basketball game is here regarded as a found situation, basketball as readymade. Huebler’s text for the basketball game directs the photographer to shoot the sequences of the artist locating himself in space. [Mary Gunter Haviland, 2015]